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North Side San Antonio bar Lucy Cooper’s Ice House opens on a whim

December 17, 2018

There’s no need for any fancy formalities at Lucy Cooper’s Ice House, and that is exactly the point.

Instead of a big, splashy grand opening, owners Braunda Moody Smith and her husband, Jesse Smith, looked at each other on Friday night and figured they may as well open for business after months of renovation. So they turned the lights on about 7:30 p.m. and started serving up the beer, booze and bites at their new establishment U.S. 281 North between Brook Hollow Boulevard and Thousand Oaks Drive.

“We figured, what the heck, she’s pretty enough now to open for business,” Braunda Smith said.

The Smiths, who have nearly 50 years of experience in the hospitality industry, have completely transformed the space, which formerly was the home of Santa Fe New Mexican Cuisine and an Outback Steakhouse. They took out the low-hanging ceiling, added two large outdoor decks (with fire pits), and put in large garage doors that blend the indoor and outdoor spaces into one.

Lucy Cooper’s isn’t a sports bar, but it sure can act like one with TVs mounted in every direction, including a bank of screens out on the deck.

Beer enthusiasts will find what they are looking for with 30 on tap that range from the standard domestics to many local and Texas varieties. There are plenty more cans and bottles tucked away in the vintage refrigerator behind the bar.

There also is a lineup of signature drinks, such as the Boodreaux’s Punch and The Crabby Jack, which pays homage to the former bar and restaurant that was located next to the Lucy Cooper’s space. Everything, from the beer to the shots, is served in mason jars.

Lucy Cooper’s is a bar first (must be 21 to enter), but it also has a substantial food menu that takes advantage of the large commercial kitchen. Look for fun items such as Boodreaux’s Clothes Line Bacon, Cooper’s Tin Can Nachos, a Brunch Burger that uses two Krispy Kreme doughnuts as buns and a prime rib pizza.

“A lot of attention was put into the menu, with things that go well with cold beer that you won’t find anyplace else,” Smith said. “It’s fun food, but it’s good food, too.”

There also 12 chicken wing varieties that swerve off the map with flavors such as coconut, Jameson Pickleback, Orange Krush and peanut butter and jelly.

Lucy Cooper’s Ice House, 16080 San Pedro Ave., 210-462-1894. Hours (tentative): 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays through Sundays (with brunch menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays). Facebook: lucycooperstexasicehouse

Chuck Blount is a food writer and columnist covering all things grilled and smoked in the San Antonio area. Find his Chuck’s Food Shack columns on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com, or read his other coverage on our free site, mySA.com. | cblount@express-news.net | Twitter: @chuck_blount   | Instagram: @bbqdiver

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